The ten-day celebration around the Maison & Objet, interior design fair that sets the European trends for 2019, transformed Paris into the design capital of the world. From 6 to 15 September 2018, the City of Lights brims with the Paris Design Week and more creativity than ever. Lovers of interior design, decoration, lifestyle, and more get their fill at over 200 venues in four city districts: Saint-Germain-des-Pres (have a drink or a quick meal at Yoshinori), Les Halles-Marais-Bastille, Opera-Concorde-Etoile, Barbes-Stalingrad-Saint Ouen. Event halls, cultural institutions, showrooms, boutiques, galleries, ateliers, restaurants, and pop-up venues attract designers, architects, interior-lovers, and the curious mind. The whole city is presenting its best in all fundamental aspects of designs comprising novelties, interpretations, little-known aspects of materials, colors, and lights. Extending the Maison & Objet’s theme of ‘Virtuous’ and taking a closer look at quality, beauty, and fairness, many of the showrooms and boutiques look in the past and celebrate the advancements of the present and future. From blue vinyl planks and tiles made of faux wood, stone and graphical ‘tatoo’ motifs at Tarkett in Rue Saintonge to Celine Planchais’ objects capturing sound, light, and smell to BHV Marais ‘Absolument Maison’, an in-house interior design collection, there is something for everyone to discover. In addition to browsing through the multiple venues in the city, there are definite places to discover new, emerging and young talents. At the 8th edition of Le Off at Ground Control Paris, Rue du Charolais, a temporary alternative art scene venue, 40 up and coming designers from around the globe show their cross-disciplinary designs, creations, and interpretations of their own imagination. Maison&Objet Hall 6 is a must to learn about emerging designers. The exhibition of the former Raising Talent Awards and Rado Star Prize winners’ projects ‘Born and Raised’ show a new level of collaboration and the pulse of the design community at large. An exhibition of the fourth-year students at the Ecole National Superieur des Art Decoratifs (ENSAD) curated by Jose Levy and an installation by Rado gives a glimpse of what is to blossom in the coming years. No design week without talks. The Talks bring together some of the most influential figures in the design industry: Thomas Le Thierry (Vizeum), Matali Crasset, Pauline Deltour, Philippe Mihelic, Patrick Jouin, Ana Mir, Emili Padros, Nicola Delon (Encore Heureux), Didier Faustino, and Mathieu Lehanneur discuss and dwell on subjects such as ‘Designing public space’, ‘Developing urban therapy’, and ‘Devising an art-oriented approach to design’. The 6th Rado Star Prize with the topic ‘Design inspired by nature’ recognizes a new generation of design professionals. An international jury looked at the ten finalists’ projects under the aspects of materials and textures concepts, resilience, transmission, durability, awareness, and changing consumption behavior. The prize dotted with Euro 5,000 and a Rado True Thinline Nature watch was given to Jean-Baptiste Durand for his ‘Brume’ lamp. The Paris Design Week is much more than a French interior design fair and celebration. The international presence makes it truly a global event. With a focus on Japan, even the Eiffel Tower lights up. Literally! The new lighting concept by mother-and-daughter team Motoko Ishii and Akari-Lisa Ishii projects the ‘radiance of the rising sun’ and marks the start of the art season combining traditional art, new technologies, and science. A further highlight relating to Japan is the immersive and interactive installation in La Villette. The collaborative project of TeamLab, LaVillette neighborhood, and Japan Foundation is an unexpected sensory experience and the emergence of digital organisms integrating the three disciplines. Other countries that stand out are Estonia celebrating 100 years and showcasing the Nordic minimalistic designs using natural materials, simplicity, and functionality as design elements. Denmark focusing on virtual reality, technology, art, and digital animation. Lebanon presenting the Lebanese creativity and the concept of living together. In the ‘Rare pieces only’ exhibition, 25 pieces of Brazilian furniture sourced from local species of wood, exotic trees, and indigenous materials, combined with industrial materials of metal, and concrete describe the design era of 1950-1980 that built the foundation of modern Brazilian furniture design. Finally, with so many visitors descending on Paris, it makes perfect sense that Paris Design Week joined forces with Syctom, Paris’ domestic waste management agency that processes 23 tons of domestic waste into something useful. It’s the third time that Syctom participates in the event with exhibitions and events relating to waste reduction and waste management. The conference and workshops raise the awareness of the Zero Waste Design Contest and launch the new round for 2019 that is sponsored by Matali Crasset during the design week.
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